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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee 
A method of micro-drilling with microwaves through metallic concentrator 
Apurbba Kumar Sharma, Shantanu Das, Rajesh Kumar, Nitin Kumar Lautre, Tito John George and Pradeep Kumar 
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee 
Application type:
Applied - 2016-02-10 
Application Number:
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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee 
The present method is a novel approach to make micro-holes (approximate min diameter; 277 µm) in materials ranging from soft polymer based materials like PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) to hard materials like glasses and ceramics using microwave generated plasma as the source of energy. While hole depth more than 12 mm could be achieved by this method within 4s (maximum) in the PMMA material, approximately 1.2 mm hole depth could be achieved in the harder materials like glass and ceramics. A metal-based (Ni-steel) monopole concentrator has been used to concentrate the microwave radiation inside a commercially available 900 W applicator, which upon irradiation, creates plasma at the tip ( ̴ dia 0.25 µm). The plasma, in turn, ablates the work material in the proximity. The concentrator, on feeding continuously either through special tool-feeding mechanism or gravity mechanism, creates a hole by virtue of removal of the material on the path of the concentrator. The process needs accurate positioning of the concentrator tip in order to create optimum plasma at the minimal exposure. A low power input helps the process yielding relatively defect-free micro-holes, especially in the non-heat dissipating materials like glass and PMMA. An application of high power tends to create high localized thermal stresses which eventually cause failure (cracking) of the materials in and around the plasma zone. The cracking problem, however, can be controlled to a significant level by using appropriate precursors. The method can potentially provide a faster drilling solution in the micro-regime. 

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